Sports participation is a powerful force. It can shift the focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement. We offer the highest quality Olympic-type sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability all around Samoa. This changes attitudes and lives.
Special Olympics Samoa training and competitions are empowering because our athletes prove to themselves what they can do, rather than what they can’t. This inspires them to achieve their personal best, both in sports and in life.
Sports offered in Samoa
We offer training and competitions in a number of sporting events that involve running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in Samoa. Athletics is mostly an individual sport, with the exception of relay races
Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal.
Players mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use their head or torso to strike the ball instead. The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and then only in their penalty area.
Much like mainstream sport, the Special Olympics competition structure offers athletes the chance to progress from local through to international competition. At these events, athletes are placed in divisions so that they can compete against people of similar ability.
Held in the village to engage with athletes in their comfortable environment. The Mini games also engage unemployed youth, families, unified partners from the grassroot level. They are an opportunity for the Sports Team (staff) and bigger sports organisations to work with the village teams directly, providing tailored technical assistance, team management and coaching skills.
‘Grassroots movement; achieving real results’ is one of the greatest changes Special Olympics Samoa have witnessed in including the community in our programs at all levels as we continue to take the program to families doorsteps.
Held bimonthly in local communities bringing athletes together from different villages, the Regional Games see the 6 community teams in Savai’i and 5 teams in Upolu meet and play competitively. All Athletes are divided into their divisions and with other teams to create new friendships and confidence to players in preparation for future travel.
Additional initiatives include Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Daily Social Program, Healthy Athletes Program, Athlete Leadership Opportunities.
The National Games are the largest disability based sport program that Samoa hosts.
Asia Pacific Games:
International competition between countries in the Asia Pacific regions continues to grow and this brings together athletes from around the region to meet and compete. The inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games was held in 2013.
Special Olympics athletes who have trained regularly and progressed through the various levels of competition have the opportunity to compete at a World Games. The World Games operate on a four year-cycle with a separate event for summer and winter sports. Athletes of all abilities can compete at the World Games if they meet the selection criteria.